Your Rainbow Vision

In the film, "The Secret", discussing a new age principle called the Law of Attraction, they speak about a vision board.  It's simply a large poster board or whiteboard where you place quotes, pictures, or anything else that gives you a strong mental image of your various dreams, goals, desires, and so forth.  That way, according to this belief system, you'll attract what you want into your life by virtue of the positive images you're holding continually in your mind.  For some, it sounds like nonsense because they do not think it logical.  How could the practice of looking daily at symbols of what you want accomplish anything but wishful thinking, they say.  Regardless of what you or I think about the Law of Attraction, it is true that whatever we hold in our mind most will shape who we are.  It won't necessarily change who we are, but it will certainly influence our identity.  Now, digging a little deeper, suppose we as LGBT Mormons started changing our thinking, if only as an experiment?  Without resistance or bias, we could adjust our mindset and see what life gives to us as a result.  Of course, I am not suggesting that altering our thought processes will change orientation, banish mental illness, or anything of the sort.  Rather, I am offering up the idea that maybe changing one's thoughts, over a lengthy period of time, can alter the course of life for the better.

Naturally, not everyone reading this article desires the typical, faithful Mormon lifestyle.  Maybe a few of my readers are looking to better understand how they might align their lives to the course of a celibate same-sex relationship, or how to be at peace as they take a break from the LDS Church, while they work out their concerns regarding sexual orientation.  Whatever your reason, dear reader, for approaching my article, I am confident that it'll send you in a better direction.  You see, in every course of action, those who actually make it to the end of that course have a set image in their minds of what it'll look like for them.  For example, the athlete who is trying to run a 7-minute mile instead of a 10-minute mile keeps that goal fixed in his mind.  In the coming days and weeks, he challenges himself again and again, to train his body into having that goal realized.  If that vision in his mind stays constant, he'll eventually get there because desire + application = eventual results.  But, how does that relate to this whole LGBT Mormon experience thing?  As if sports and sexuality really have anything in common...

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  
 – Proverbs 29:18

Fortunately, they do share at least one area of common ground.  Wherever you are centering your focus is where you're going to head.  That's why sailors use Polaris (the North Star) as a guiding light, because it's in a fixed, constant position.  How about spiritual, sexual, emotional, and mental goals?  Naturally, things like addiction, mental illness, and life circumstances can hedge up our journey we're trying to create, but such obstacles can either fuel our passion or extinguish it.  Though I firmly and wholly believe in the grace of Jesus Christ to give us power to move forward, I also believe in the necessity of personal action, however small or large, we are able to offer.  Our Heavenly Father gave us the Savior to strengthen our spiritual muscles enough to walk forward, but not for the purpose of effortless, meaningless growth.  The most resilient and significant spiritual strength arises from our personal choices to press forward amid opposition of all kinds.  Now, to get more specific.

In my personal experience, I had a time where I really struggled to reconcile my sexuality with how I personally felt about what it would look like and mean for me - my social life, church, friendships, and so on. I had no definitive picture of what I wanted all those areas of my life to look like and mean, and so that really exacerbated my stress over it.    Over the course of a couple years, I tried to define what it would look like and mean for me to identify as gay, and SSA, since I use the terms interchangeably to mean that I was attracted to men sexually and emotionally.  However, it was only when I really got into the nitty-gritty of sexual orientation terminology, how I felt about it, what I perceived others to think of said terms, and more, that I started establishing a clear vision of what it meant for me.  As a result, after I established that vision of what it meant for me, my anxieties concerning my sexuality dissipated and I entered into a place of personal peace.  That was when life got much better as far as being religious as a Mormon, while also being gay. If religiosity is not presently your journey, still this tool can work for you because you'll have a honed-in focus on what you want.  With that focus, you'll get where you want in time because desire + application = eventual results.

Decide to define your vision, whether on a poster board or simply in your mind,  so that you can keep the law of truth in your journey, as Proverbs declares.  That way, you won't feel like you're spiritually, sexually, physically, etc. dying in the journey, since you'll have something to look forward to, and a beautiful place to arrive at.  Until next time...

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